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Trends and Surveillance

Each year in the United States, RSV leads, on average, to—

  • 2.1 million outpatient visits among children younger than 5 years old1
  • 57,527 hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years old1
  • 177,000 hospitalizations among adults older than 65 years2
  • 14,000 deaths among adults older than 65 years2

In the United States and other areas with similar climates, RSV infections occur primarily during fall, winter, and spring.

Footnotes
1Hall CB, Weinberg GA, Iwane MK, Blumkin AK, Edwards KM, et al. The burden of respiratory syncytial virus infection in young children. New Engl J Med. 2009;360(6):588-98.
2Falsey AR, Hennessey PA, Formica MA, Cox C, Walsh EE. Respiratory syncytial virus infection in elderly and high-risk adults. New Engl J Med. 2005;352(17):1749-59.

RSV Seasonal Trends

Chart: Duration of RSV Season, by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region and Florida, July 2016 - June 2017 (listed by region number, or state, and headquarter city in order from earliest to latest RSV season start date): Florida onset: September 2016; offset: April 2017. Region 6 (Dallas) onset: October 2016; offset: May 2017. Region 4 (Atlanta) onset: mid September 2016; offset: late May 2017. Region 2 (New York) onset: October 2016; offset: mid May 2017. Region 3 (Philadelphia) onset: mid-October 2016; offset: early May 2017. Region 5 (Chicago) onset: early November 2016; offset: late April 2017. Region 7 (Kansas City) onset: October 2016; offset: late April 2017. Region 1 (Boston) onset: early November 2016; offset: mid-May 2017. Region 9 (San Francisco) onset: late November 2016; offset: late April 2017. Region 10 (Seattle) onset: late November 2016; offset: ealry May 2017;. Region 8 (Denver) onset: mid November 2016; offset: late May 2017.

CDC analyzes data on RSV activity at the national, regional, and state levels, collected by a surveillance system called the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS).

For 2016 to 2017, the RSV season onset ranged from mid-September to mid-November, season peak ranged from late December to mid-February, and season offset ranged from mid-April to mid-May in all 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regions, except Florida. Florida has an earlier RSV season onset and longer duration than most regions of the country (see figure).

Seasonal patterns remained consistent with previous years.

Surveillance Systems

CDC collects information on RSV laboratory detections in the United States using the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS). This is a voluntary, laboratory-based surveillance system established in the 1980s to monitor trends in several viruses, including RSV. NREVSS tracks the number of RSV tests that are done by participating laboratories and the proportion that are positive, by specimen type, location, and when they were collected. Serotyping, demographic data, and clinical data are not reported. Data from NREVSS provides information to public health officials and healthcare providers about the presence of RSV in their communities.

References

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